As Colts head coach Jim Caldwell prepares his team to face the Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, there is one player in particular that Caldwell has his eye on. The "Michael Vick Experience" returns to South Philadelphia this weekend and Caldwell knows that stopping the Eagles offense starts with containing the highest-rated passer in the NFC.
"Often times you find guys who have one dimension and they do one thing extremely well," Caldwell said. "(Michael Vick) does a number of things well. The danger is, number one, if he gets out of the pocket he's not one of those guys that's likely to be satisfied with getting out of bounds. Number two, he can extend plays.
"His eyes are always down the field when he's moving around so therefore his receivers can run and cover ground and it gives him a little extra time to run away from you, especially with receivers who can really run like the two (the Eagles) have."
The two Colt defenders that are likely to be charged with keeping Vick in check will be defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The dynamic pass rush duo has 10.5 sacks between them through seven games, and will attempt to keep Vick in the pocket where the Colts have a better chance of limiting his explosive plays.
Of course, that's easier said than done. Vick is arguably the most elusive athlete to ever play the quarterback position, and keeping him contained in the pocket is a tall order, even for a perennial Pro Bowl defensive end like Freeney.
"Dwight is an explosive guy," Caldwell said. "He's a guy that can certainly get up the field. He has a great blend of speed, power, and he can turn speed into power. The variety of things that he's able to do certainly has been able to create some problems not just for our next opponent, but we're talking about a guy who's had 89 sacks since he's been in the league."
The nine-year veteran, Freeney is used to rushing the quarterback's blind side. This Sunday, however, the left-handed Vick will be looking right at 6-1, 268-pound defensive end. So is there a chance that the Colts will flip their defensive line?
"I'm not trying to be a smart aleck," Caldwell told the Philadelphia media, "but if we did I wouldn't tell you. Obviously, Robert is also a guy that has speed and ability and certainly a talented player as well so I think they both give us great bookends in that regard."
Either way, expect the Eagles offense to have a plan in place to slow down the relentless Colts pass rush.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 11:15 a.m., November 4